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FTThe Financial Times

Labour conference – McDonnell eyes higher taxes on business and rich

John McDonnell, Labours shadow chancellor will map out plans for a big tax rise on the rich and on businesses as he sets out a new ‘economics’ intended to redistribute wealth across society and to all parts of Britain. He is also expected to announce today that labour is launching a radical review of the national institutions that manage our economy, which is to focus on the Bank of England.

VW’s new chief faces tough tasks to get back on course

Matthias Miller, the new chief executive of embattled carmaker Volkswagen, is said to have a critical distance, and be more non- conformist and more international than his predecessor Martin Winterkorn. These traits are set to be tested repeatedly as he is grilled by politicians, regulators and the media over a diesel emissions scandal that has tarred its brand.

VW was warned of fumes con in 2007

Volkswagen was warned in 2007 not to sell cars fitted with cheating software, it was claimed yesterday. The German carmaker admitted last week that 11million of its diesel vehicles had been sold across the world with defeat technology designed to fool government emission tests. It bought the software from manufacturer Bosch in 2007, but the supplier told it at the time that selling cars with the device installed would be illegal.

German prosecutors launch probe of ex-VW chief Martin Winterkorn

German prosecutors on Monday launched a preliminary investigation into whether Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s former chief executive, defrauded customers in relation to the global diesel-emissions scandal. It also emerged that VW has suspended two senior executives, as the group steps up its internal investigation into the use of so-called defeat devices that enabled up to 11m of the German carmaker’s diesel vehicles to understate emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides, or NOx, in laboratory tests.

The Times

Fuel prices will be displayed on motorways to end rip-offs

Fuel prices will be displayed on motorways for the first time under government plans to stop drivers being ripped off at the pumps.

Signs giving up-to-date information on the cost of petrol and diesel will be placed on a stretch of the M5 this winter as part of a trial programme. It comes after research showed that filling up at a motorway service station is up to £8 more expensive than average prices elsewhere on the road network.

FCA targets insurers

The Financial Conduct Authority has published its planned remedies to prevent consumers being disadvantaged by add-on insurance. Insurers are to be banned from selling add-ons by using pre-ticked boxes that consumers must untick if they do not want to take part. There are also new restrictions on the sale of guaranteed asset protection insurance, which is often sold alongside motor policies.

20mph limit is becoming city standard

Motorists are facing routine 20mph speed limits on inner-city roads as part of a new blitz on dangerous driving. Research shows that the majority of councils in Britain are either lowering or considering lowering the speed limit in residential areas. Drivers risk fines of £100 and three penalty points for exceeding 20mph, rather than 30mph, the default limit in residential streets, in cities including Bristol, Edinburgh, Norwich, Leicester and London.

Google’s robot cars taught to cut corners like humans

It is not known whether Google’s self-driving cars are programmed to feel road rage — but they are being taught to cut corners, edge out into traffic and make other human-like manoeuvres. Google’s cars are, according to one of their makers, too cautious. They repeatedly tap the brakes when they detect danger, affecting nearby human drivers who may stop abruptly.

20mph limit is becoming city standard

Motorists are facing routine 20mph speed limits on inner-city roads as part of a new blitz on dangerous driving. Research shows that the majority of councils in Britain are either lowering or considering lowering the speed limit in residential areas. Drivers risk fines of £100 and three penalty points for exceeding 20mph, rather than 30mph, the default limit in residential streets, in cities including Bristol, Edinburgh, Norwich, Leicester and London.

The Daily Telegraph

Changes in your car-buying rights; A new Consumer Rights Act comes into force on October 1, with implications for the motor trade – NFDA Comment

The new Consumer Rights Act comes into force on October 1 and it’s described as the biggest overhaul of consumer law for a generation. In one go, it replaces the Sale of Goods Act, Supply of Goods and Services Act and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

By slashing the amount of time we spend complaining about sub-standard goods and services – claimed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to account for 59 million hours annually – the new Act is predicted to boost the economy by £4 billion over the next decade.

However, the government’s website says: “This will not achieve its full impact unless consumers and traders know about the new regime and are adept at using it.”

I’m not alone in feeling I haven’t exactly been bombarded with information about my new rights. Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “I’ve only seen one thing written about it and I was expecting a lot more calls.”

Rates rise on hold until next summer

Interest rates will stay at 0.5 per cent until Summer 2016, experts forecast. The Bank of England’s hand has been forced by a slowing world economy,. It is predicted UK growth will slow from 2.5 to 2 per cent next year.

Car smoking ban hard to impose

Enforcing the new smoking ban in cars will be virtually impossible because of number of e-cigarette users, experts have warned. The new law comes into force on Thursday.

The Guardian

Treasury reining in ‘radical’ business rates review, say retailers

Retail bosses fear the government is to dampen down a revamp of business rates that could help fund the introduction of the national living wage.

Industry sources with knowledge of the talks between retailers and the Treasury warned they were “extremely concerned by the lack of ambition” and that “patience is running out across the business community”.

George Osborne pledged last year to review business rates and announced the findings before the 2016 budget. The controversial property tax brings in more than £25bn a year for the Treasury but retailers claim it is damaging high streets and is linked to outdated property valuations rather than economic output.

The Daily Mail

Now we can’t trust car giants on miles per gallon either: After VW scandal, Mercedes and BMW accused over fuel efficiency

Cars made by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Peugeot are using up to 50 per cent more fuel than their official laboratory tests suggest, a report claims.

Cars on average are consuming 40 per cent more fuel in ‘real-life’ conditions than in the figures put out by manufacturers, according to the report.

This ‘gap’ has increased from 8 per cent in 2001 and 31 per cent in 2012, but for some car-makers the discrepancy is higher than 50 per cent. This amounts to more than £350 a year in extra fuel costs for the average car.

Smoking ban farce: Police vow to IGNORE new law coming into force tomorrow that makes it illegal to light up in cars with children

A new law against smoking in cars carrying children will not be enforced, police chiefs have admitted. From Thursday, officers will have the power to dish out £50 on-the-spot fines. But police bosses say they will turn a blind eye to those caught flouting the law. Drivers will instead get away with a warning – ‘education not prosecution’.

The Daily Express

Sainsbury’s offers drivers TEN times more Nectar points in latest fuel promotion

DRIVERS who fill up at Sainsbury’s in October can collect a whopping 10 Nectar points for every litre of fuel they buy, as the supermarket fuel price war heats up. Usually the supermarket only offers one point per litre, with the promotion giving customers 5p worth of points for every litre.

There is no limit to the number of times a motorist can fill up, but the promotion will only run for one month. The promotion is just the latest move in the fuel price war between the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – who have been cutting prices since the summer.

Data from the AA showed the average price of petrol fell back below 110p a litre yesterday for the first time since March, having been as high as at 117.28p in June.

BBC.co.uk

Volkswagen staff acted criminally, says board member

Olaf Lies, a Volkswagen board member and economy minister of Lower Saxony has told Newsnight some staff acted criminally over emission cheat tests. He said the people who allowed the deception to happen or who installed the software that allowed certain models to give false emissions readings must take personal responsibility. He also said the board only found out about the problems at the last meeting.

About 11 million diesel engine cars are affected by the problem.

Car insurance: Young drivers ‘benefit from new tech’

New technology is helping to cut car insurance premiums for young drivers while older motorists are seeing costs rise, research suggests.

Drivers aged under 25 have seen the average premium fall by 5.5% in the year to August, according to researcher Consumer Intelligence.

They have been helped by black box technology, which reduces premiums by monitoring driving patterns.

In contrast, motorists aged over 50 have seen their premiums rise by 8.6%.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 02/10/2015